Facebook users in the UK will be able to benefit from a controversial new feature that allows users, ordinary members of the public, to pay to send Facebook messages to celebrities and other people who they’re not otherwise able to connect with.
This feature, said to have been rolled out to prevent celebrities being bombarded with messages from fans – or as Facebook refer to it “spam” – has been live in the US since December, but the UK is one of a further 36 countries now being trialled.
By paying the fee to message a celebrity users will be able to ensure that their messages goes directly to the celebrity’s in-box rather than the “other” less visible folders which captures all messages from people not within the user’s circle of friends.
The cost of sending a message to your favourite celebrity will depend on a “fame” algorithm which takes into account numerous factors including the number of followers that the celebrity has on their Facebook account – though Facebook have made it clear that a higher price to message one celebrity over another does not necessarily make them more “famous”!
In January of this year Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s founder, set a fee of £61 to contact him. Zuckerberg believes that Facebook messaging will become an alternative to email. The recent launch of Facebook Home and integration with phone operating systems is part of this strategy of making Facebook the conduit for all communications – and it’s certainly suggested by some that Facebook will not only become an alternative to email, but will replace SMS messaging as well.
Facebook have come under some criticism for this latest move as they’d always said that the site would be “free and always will be.” Whether Facebook user’s will pay to message their favourite celebrity remains to be seen, particularly when Twitter allows users them to contact them for free.
It will also be interesting to see how celebrities react to this charging structure. Whilst some may be pleased that Facebook is saving them from being bombarded with fan-mail, there will almost certainly be others who feel, publicly at least, that their fans should be able to contact them for free.
And how long before a celebrity argues that Facebook should be giving them a cut of any revenues generated through messages sent to them? After all if Facebook are able to charge £10.68 to message Tom Daley, and that price is determined and is trading off his “personality”, surely most of the revenue should go to him?
For those Facebook users with shallower pockets then for 71p you can contact the UK government’s culture secretary Jeremy Hunt, the comedians Bill Bailey and Miranda Hart or Prince Harry’s girlfriend Cressida Bonas.
We’re pleased to say that you can always message the StatusCake team on Facebook for free!
James Barnes, StatusCake.com
More from StatusCake
7 min read Today, social media uses a wide range of different social networking platforms to help its users with the creation and sharing of ideas, information, personal interests and hobbies by establishing virtual networks. Affiliates can benefit from these groups that use web-based applications to communicate, interact and connect.
4 min read One of the biggest eCommerce questions – how do you improve user experience? Here are all the top tips for a better UX design to help you drive revenue.
2 min read We all know page speed is crucial but not just for you brand – it affects SEO so hugely that it can make your pages drop in ranking.
5 min read Learn what bounce rate is and how it is measured, what a good bounce rate looks like, and the actionable steps you can take to improve the bounce rate on your website.
3 min read Website downtime no longer needs to be this big mystery that keeps you up at night. Here are the top causes for website downtime AND how to fix them.
2 min read Large ads have been a major issue with online publishers who have been struggling with how to curtail what many call “fat ads.” The oversized ads have a major impact on the ability of website visitors to see them as they can’t view them if they don’t load properly.